Brandied Fruit for Christmas and Hostess Gifts

I remember years ago my aunt made up a batch of brandied fruit and passed some starter to my mom. Together they kept that fruit going for what seemed like forever.

Brandied fruit is delicious spooned over ice cream or pound cake or as a filling in a crepe topped with whipped cream. I had forgotten about it until I ran across a recipe online and did it ever bring back sweet memories. 

So much so that I had to ask my mom if she still had the recipe. She did, yeah! So I'm starting a batch that  will be ready in a few weeks. A small jar of brandied fruit and a pound cake baked up in a mini loaf pan will make a perfect hostess gift for the many parties during the holidays as well as last minute Christmas gifts. 

Beware this does contain alcohol and fermentation doesn't change that fact so it's not appropriate for children and of course anyone who is opposed to the use of alcohol. Use your best judgement.

It's super easy. Canned fruits mixed with sugar and brandy left to gently ferment on the counter. By replenishing the starter every 3 weeks you can keep this going just about forever...

There are tons of variations on this recipe all over the Internet but this is my method.

Layer pineapple, peaches, apricots and maraschino cherries in a clean jar. Add the sugar and brandy.

Gently stir the mixture. 

Cover and allow to sit on the counter for 3 weeks. Stir a few times a week. 

2 - 15 ounce cans peaches
2 - 15.25 ounce cans apricots
2 - 20 ounce cans pineapple chunks
1 - 16 ounce jar maraschino cherries
2 1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cup brandy

Drain all the fruit and place in a clean glass jar.
Add the sugar and brandy and stir to combine.

Cover the jar and place in a dark place. In a cabinet or covered with a towel. (Do not refrigerate) 
During the next three weeks stir the fruit several times a week. 

At the end of the three weeks the fruit is ready. You can spoon the fruit and juice over ice cream or pound cake. 
Always keep at least one cup of the fruit as a starter. To replenish starter add 1 cup of sugar and 1 can of pineapple, peaches, apricots or cherries every 3 weeks. Alternate fruit each time. You won't have to add any additional brandy to the starter. 

To give as a gift package up 2 cups of the fruit with instructions to eat one cup now and to use the other cup as a starter if desired. (or they can just eat it all!)

I'll be posting nearer to Christmas how I'm packaging my gifts. 

Have you ever had brandied fruit? 
Do you keep small gifts on hand for hostess gifts or for Christmas?

The Weary Chef

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